Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Monday - go and be reconciled

Prayer:  Loving God,  You are the author and finisher of our faith.  May we always bring You our burdens and our anger and our frustrations so that we can live whole and healing lives as You lift these burdens from our shoulders.   This we ask in Jesus name.  Amen.

Read St Matthew 5:  21 – 26

This seems like an odd portion of scripture to begin our daily devotional on “Go and” doesn’t it.  Yet,  here is Jesus teaching the crowd and the disciples.  Jesus has just finished teaching the Beatitudes and then comes to teaching on the law.  One of the Ten Commandments says, “Do not murder”.   Here Jesus is explaining that “do not murder”  is bigger than the physical act of murdering another person.    Jesus says that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement.    What is the person to do who is angry with his brother?  The person is to first go and be reconciled to his brother, then come back and offer the gift at the altar.

Go and be reconciled with your family.  If you are angry with anyone in your family,  go and be reconciled.   But you have to take the first steps.  If you are angry with anyone in your Church family,  go and be reconciled.  But you have to take the first steps.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have gone to another person in the church and said, “I am so sorry that I caused you pain.  Please forgive me”.   And that person has not forgiven you?  You opened the door to reconciliation but the person would not accept your apology.  What are you to do?  Go away in anger and the anger continues to build until you end up having health problems?   Nope.   You are to give the situation to God.  Keep the person in your prayers!   Bring that person into God’s care and love.      Some people years later will say, 
I accept your apology”  and other’s won’t.     But leave the situation with God.  God’s  will be done.

And now for the flip side.  If someone comes to you and says, “Please forgive me”  then forgive them.   Do not harbour your anger or distress!   Forgive the person!   This is reconciliation.   As Christians  we are to be examples of living reconciliation.

For us as Christians,  the word reconciliation is closely followed by the words “forgiveness”,  “healing”,  and “wholeness”.     In order to become mature Christians,  we must continually ask forgiveness so that we can be healed from our anger and distress and become whole people of God.

Prayer:    Almighty God,  we lift up to You today those situations and people that have made us angry or frustrated.  Lord hear our prayer.    We ask for Your forgiveness for those people who we understand to have caused us pain.  Lord hear our prayer.   Change our anger into Your love.  Change our frustrations into Your peace.  Change our pain into Your joy. May we be examples of Your living reconciliation.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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